Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association calls for support from Maharashtra government

NEW DELHI: The Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association has written to the Maharashtra government and met with NCP chief Sharad Pawar to seek support for the struggling industry, following new restrictions amid the third wave of covid in the country.

In a letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, AHAR called for an extension of food service hours in restaurants and bars until midnight from 10 p.m.

He also asked for specific guidelines and clarification regarding 24-hour food delivery services.

In another letter to Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, he requested a reduction in FL III license fees to 50% to compensate for the loss of regular activity. The license is for the sale of imported foreign liquors and foreign liquors manufactured in India on which excise duty has been paid at special rates.

Shivanand Shetty, Chairman of AHAR, said: “Disruptions over the past two years have thrown the industry into dire straits, forcing many businesses to close. We have requested the extension of catering services until midnight as well as a request for a 50% reduction in liquor license fees for the year 2022-23. This waiver will help generate revenue for the state government and will also help reopen establishments…”

According to research firm Mordor Intelligence, the Indian hospitality industry is one of the hardest hit by the pandemic, having contracted by 47% in April-June 2020. In May 2020, the industry saw its rate of occupancy fall by 77% over one year. The domestic hospitality industry is expected to decline by more than 65% in 2021.

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Christina A. Kroll